Cornwall

Brough motorcycle breaks world record at auction

A 1938 Brough Superior 982cc Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The 1938 Brough Superior 982cc sold for £330,000 at auction

A rare motorcycle discovered in a Cornwall barn set a new world record after selling for more than £300,000.

The 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4 was one of eight bikes of its type found on Bodmin Moor in December last year.

Together, eight bikes - described by auctioneers Bonhams as the "last known collection of unrestored Broughs" - reached £752,625.

Ben Walker, from Bonhams motorcycle department, described the find as "the motorcycle discovery of the decade".

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He said: "They've caused quite a stir in the saleroom, with each one far exceeding estimate, allowing us to break our own world record for a British motorcycle sold at auction."

Brough Superior motorcycles

Image copyright PA
Image caption George Brough chats with TE Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, at the Brough Superior factory in Haydn Road, Nottingham
  • Brough Superior motorcycles were built in Nottingham, at founder George Brough's factory in Haydn Road
  • Built in the 1920s and 1930s, they were known as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles and used by celebrated riders such as TE Lawrence
  • British Army officer Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, owned eight Brough Superior bikes
  • Only ten BS4 models (aka Brough Superior 'four cylinder') were built, and only seven survive
  • TE Lawrence was killed in 1935 riding an SS100 he had named George VII

Source: Bonhams

Image copyright Adrian Brown
Image caption The motorcyles were found under 'decades of dust'

An unnamed German bidder paid £331,900 for the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4.

The bikes, known as the Broughs of Bodmin Moore, had been stored in barns for more than 50 years and were found "submerged under decades of dust, old machinery parts and household clutter".

The motorcycles, which date from between 1926-1939, were collected by Frank Vague, who died in 2015.

Image copyright Adrian Brown
Image caption The unrestored Brough Superior motorcycles were discovered in a barn on Bodmin Moor

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